Posts Tagged ‘butterscotch bars’

If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.


We feed a lot of people, because we can.

We send loaves of bread to the neighbours, deliver baked treats to our local shopkeepers, and take chocolates on visits to our family GP.  We routinely bake for the school orchestra, attend Parent-Teacher interviews with brownies wrapped in parchment paper, and arrive with afternoon tea for our favourite stallholders at Flemington Markets.

Perhaps you’ve thought about taking a plate of cookies to work, or offering the local fruiterer a sample of your latest baked wares, but have always been too shy or reserved to actually do it.

If that’s the case, let me encourage you to give it a go this festive season!  Here are five of our favourite recipes to get you started…

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Butterscotch Bars

This is the recipe that started it all – the first universally popular treat that I ever baked.  I reckon I’ve made this recipe a hundred times.  It’s incredibly versatile – perfect for afternoon tea, as a gift for almost every occasion, and it’s a great cake stall item for the school fête.  Come up with your own combination of chocolate and nut add-ins, and make this recipe uniquely yours.

Click here for the recipe

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Toffee Bars

I’ve only recently come back to these after a long hiatus, but since then I’ve baked them three times.  They’re incredibly easy to make, and the ingredients are always on standby in our pantry.  The recipe makes a large number of bars, so there’s plenty to go around.  Use the best dark chocolate you can find, and whatever nuts you have on hand.

Click here for the recipe

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Supernatural Brownies

This Nick Malgieri recipe makes the list because it tastes wonderful, doesn’t require an electric mixer, and best of all, makes a double-sized batch of brownies. I tweaked the original methodology just a little to make these even easier.  They’re super quick too – I once timed myself and found that mixing up the batter took a leisurely 13 minutes and 25 seconds.

Click here for the recipe

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Freezer Shortbread Cookies

One of the earliest recipes we blogged, these shortbread cookies are my mother’s favourites.  The rolls store in the freezer for months, and can be thawed and baked at short notice.  Again, the toppings on the cookies can be varied to suit your personal preference – a couple of my variations are included below.  I’d love to see any new ones you come up with!

Chai Shortbread Cookies…

Chocolate and Ginger Shortbread

Click here for the freezer dough recipe

Click here for the Chocolate and Ginger version

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Little Chocolate Cakes

Like the other four recipes, this one is simple to make, but has the added advantage of being gluten-free.  Within days of the original blog post, our friends Heidi, Joanna and Lisa had whipped these little cakes up in their own kitchens – it’s that kind of recipe.  Dust the tops generously with icing sugar – it always adds a festive touch!

Click here for the recipe

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Sharing the food from our kitchen brings us enormous joy and great satisfaction.

I know most of my fellow bloggers feel the same way, and I’d love to know who you share your culinary creations with.  And thank you to everyone who is still reading this blog after nearly three years – it’s been a pleasure to share our kitchen with all of you too!

Read Full Post »


Over the years, I’ve refined my baking repertoire. And while I love trying out new recipes, there’s a handful of core favourites that I routinely revert to.

Our chocolate slab cake – one of the most popular recipes on our blog – is baked at least once a month.  It’s a very large cake, and the neighbours all respond to the clarion call with plates to ferry their portions home (it’s that kind of cake).

The butterscotch bars are almost embarrassingly easy to make, and they’ve become our regular standby for school orchestra rehearsals, last minute morning teas, and birthday and Christmas gifts.

Now that we have fresh eggs, the cookie jars are constantly filled with chocolate meringues, and the fudge brownies have become our newest  house fave – baked frequently as Pete finds them irresistible. (We had dinner with Alex last week, who said “once you’ve tried the fudge brownies, there’s no going back”.  Bless her, that made my night…)

The white chocolate bundt cake in the photo above is Big Boy’s all time favourite cake.  It’s a bit more work to make and probably only gets an airing three or four times a year, but this is the cake I turn to whenever I need a showstopper.  And even though I’m not a white chocolate fan, in this cake, it’s sublime.   I posted the recipe over a year ago, but have just updated it with metric measurements, since I make it by weight rather than cup measures these days.

I always top the cake with tempered chocolate (in this case, milk and dark), but it’s almost as good simply dusted with icing sugar.  Please note that it’s a large cake – the standard 10 cup bundt tins by Wilton and Nordicware will take most, but not all of the mix, so do have some muffin pans or mini tins on standby for the excess batter.  The methodology, with updated measurements and a printable version, is available here. I’ve also made a caramelised white chocolate version, which was particularly wicked!

White Chocolate Bundt Cake

  • 450g plain (AP) flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 440g white sugar
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 large (59g) eggs, at room temperature
  • 115g white chocolate, melted and still warm
  • 250g thick Greek yoghurt
  • 115g  white chocolate chunks or chips

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

I’d love to know your baking standbys – do you have a recipe which you turn to time after time?

Read Full Post »

Waste not, want not…

Our chocolate supplies are always fairly robust, but at Easter time, the situation gets a little out of control.  And with the exception of what the rabbit brings, most of the chocolate we eat is tempered and moulded at home. Consequently, there’s often a surfeit of packaged Easter eggs and bunnies that the boys have received as gifts.

This year we had a glut of Haigh’s solid eggs – way too good to waste, but far more than we could eat.  Last night I decided to unwrap the whole lot – all 580g of them – and bake them into a large bar.

I made a double batch of our butterscotch bar recipe (recently updated with metric measurements), substituting whole solid eggs for the chocolate chips (note: add the flour first, then the eggs, rather than the whole lot at once).

The batter was baked in a lined 23cm x 33cm (9″ x 13″) baking tin for about 40 minutes, and then allowed to cool completely before slicing (to allow the melted orbs to reform).

It’s proven to be a great way to share the love – you can’t give away eggs after Easter, but everyone adores a chocolate blondie filled with huge balls of chocolate!

Read Full Post »

orc 001

I’ve been baking for the school orchestra.

They have rehearsals at this time every year, and it’s become a tradition to send in afternoon tea for them.  I usually make butterscotch bars, but this year I thought I’d try something different.

Nick Malgieri’s Supernatural Brownies (pictured above) are very easy to make, and perfect for feeding a crowd.  The two batches I made cut into over ninety 2½cm x 5cm (1″ x 2″) bars.  I tweaked the methodology a little to simplify it even further.

  • 250g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 225g dark chocolate chips – I used Callebaut 70% cocoa callets
  • 4 large (59g) eggs
  • 1 cup (220g) white sugar
  • 1 cup (210g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons homemade vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup (150g) plain (AP) flour

1. Heat oven to 175C (350F) or 160C (320F) with fan.  Line a 23cm x 33cm (9″ x 13″) baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large pyrex bowl, microwave the butter and chocolate in short bursts on high until the chocolate begins to melt, then stir until smooth.  Set aside to cool slightly.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs well, then add the sugar, brown sugar, salt and vanilla, whisking to combine.  Using a spatula, stir in the chocolate and butter mixture, then fold in the flour.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth over the top (the batter will be runny).

4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the brownies comes out clean, about 30 – 35 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.  This recipe makes 24 x 5cm/2″ square brownies, although I cut the slab into 48 smaller pieces.

Of course, I had to make butterscotch bars as well.  The brass players would be very disappointed otherwise.  All up, we’re sending in nearly 180 brownies and bars with Big Boy today!

orc 011

Read Full Post »

vanilla syrup 012

A couple of years ago, we started routinely sending treats to school for Big Boy’s mates – a tradition that became known as “Feed the Friends Friday”.  One of his good friends, Gabby AKA The Screaming Mongoose, was particularly enamoured with the marshmallow cookies, although they would often overload his system. “Celia, they’re really great, but they make me mental in period seven..” (which was how long it took the sugar to kick in from the cookie he’d eaten at lunch time).

Last week, his older brother George made butterscotch bars and  marshmallow cookies from the recipes here and sent a sample home with Big Boy for us to try.  They were delicious, and what you see above is all that was left by the time I thought to take a photo. George made eighty marshmallow cookies for his church bake sale, which astonishes me – I get exhausted making a batch of twenty!

I can’t tell you how chuffed I am by this  – George is all of nineteen years old and he was able to decipher my recipes.  I know that actually says more about the man than anything else, but I’d like to think it says a little bit about the recipes too.  Thanks George, you’ve made my day!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: